Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fight Club

Despite being a movie buff, I have never mentioned the movie Fight Club on this blog -- even though it's awesome -- because it's not particularly quotable.  It doesn't lend itself well to sound bites.  The two quotes that everyone knows from the movie are the movie's most meaningless and silly.  It doesn't help that the movie is so entirely subversive that up to this point, I've been a bit scared to touch it as a source of inspiration.  But I've been writing this blog for a couple of years now and feel a bit more confident about my ability to handle it.

So let's go for it.
Tyler Durden:  I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

Here's another example where I believe two contradictory things simultaneously.  EVE is so very, very Fight Club.  Only it simultaneously isn't: it's the complete opposite of what Fight Club stands for.  This is truly ironic.  If you're an EVE player and you haven't read the book or seen the movie, do so.  The book is better, but only in degrees.  Without spoiling the book or the movie, I will say that the basic themes of the book are two-fold:
  • Man seeking other men to fight as a way of testing themselves when there are no clear enemies; and,
  • the need for "stuff" that drives so much of the first world economy as a way of gauging success.
The story is essentially nihilist, with the interesting twist that it's implied that modern men are being driven to destructive behavior due to a lack of alternative opportunities or grand goals.  In essence, since the main character is denied the opportunity to creatively change history, he's content with destructively doing so.  In the meantime, since they have no other way to measure greatness, men are using consumerism and the accumulation of toys to gauge success.

If none of this is sounding familiar, then you haven't been playing EVE Online long enough.  Like I said, this is subversive stuff.

So I've got a couple of long posts where I'd like to explore these two themes in relation to EVE.  As I do, I'll talk not only about the current player base and EVE's developers, I'll also cover how these two themes impact what I see as CCP's driving goal for 2013: attracting a new generation of players to the game.  EVE's economy of consumerism and destruction will also come up.

The first post is called "Men behaving badly".  The second, "Pick and choose".  Watch this space.

3 comments:

  1. Chuck Palahniuk is gay. So its definitely about men seeking men like you said above.

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  2. What irritates me about this kind of attitude (as it occurs as a theme in Fight Club):

    It can so easily be turned into an excuse (and is). We can very easily avoid those instincts and NOT fight or acquire wealth to impress.

    There are many men who live a perfectly happy, non-violant, non-competetive, unassuming life. Those theories - that men just HAVE to compete and achieve to be fulfilled or happy - are making some people assume such paths that they otherwise might not have, because they now feel justified (or just got the idea in the first place, that they HAVE to be successful).

    Yes, our society is obsessed with wealth, sexual conquest (in contrast to just sex) and fame. But that is not a universal constant, neither compared to other times in history, nor compared to other countries. That tendency has always been present, but it hasn't always been seen as a universal principal that guides the life of men.

    Now, insofar has people see Fight Club the way it was meant to be seen, as a WARNING about a society obsessed with such values and unable to draw happieness and personal success from other sources, the movie succeeds.

    Unfortunately, quite a few people do not see it that way. They revel in the attitudes that are supposed to be exposed for criticism.

    Now, as I see it, a comparison to Eve only goes sofar as New Eden mirrors real life itself. I am not that sure how much insight into our behaviour is gained by employing these Fight Club themes directly while studying Eve's playerbase. You can just as easily talk about real life then - no extra insight (for our real lives) is gained.

    Now, if you actually seek insight into New Eden itself, I don't know how starting with Fight Club is helpful compared to just contrasting Eve Online's universe with our real one.

    I might be overthinking what you are trying to achieve and say in the upcoming articles - you haven't really made a point sofar, only announced the theme, so to speak - but be wary. It's a minefield. You can so easily segway from trivial non-answers to harmful clichés in an instant while hardly noticing you are doing so.

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  3. i still cant think of anything

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